Star Wars

  • Directors: George Lucas
  • Producers: Gary Kurtz, George Lucas, Rick McCallum
  • Writers: George Lucas
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
  • Actors: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter Mayhew, Alec Guinness, Kenny Baker, Anthony Daniels

The galaxy is in a state of civil war. Spies for the Rebel Alliance have stolen plans to the Galactic Empire’s Death Star: a space station capable of annihilating an entire planet. Rebel leader Princess Leia is in possession of the plans, but her ship is captured by Imperial forces under the command of Darth Vader. Before she is captured, Leia hides the plans in a droid named R2-D2, along with a holographic recording. The small droid escapes to the surface of the desert planet Tatooine with fellow droid C-3PO. The two droids are quickly captured by Jawa traders, who sell the pair to moisture farmer Owen Lars and his nephew, Luke Skywalker. While Luke is cleaning R2-D2, he accidentally triggers part of Leia’s holographic message, in which she requests help from Obi-Wan Kenobi. The only “Kenobi” Luke knows of is an old hermit named Ben Kenobi who lives in the nearby hills; Owen, however, dismisses any connection, suggesting that Obi-Wan is dead.

During dinner, R2-D2 escapes to seek Obi-Wan. The next morning Luke and C-3PO go out after him and are met by Ben Kenobi, who reveals himself to be Obi-Wan and takes Luke and the droids back to his hut. He tells Luke of his days as a Jedi Knight and explains to Luke about a mysterious energy field called the Force. He also tells Luke about his association with Luke’s father, also a Jedi, whom he claims to have been betrayed and murdered by Darth Vader, Obi-Wan’s former pupil who turned to the Sith. Obi-Wan then views Leia’s message, in which she begs him to take R2-D2 and the Death Star plans to her home planet of Alderaan, where her father will be able to retrieve and analyze them. Obi-Wan asks Luke to accompany him to Alderaan and to learn the ways of the Force. After initially refusing, Luke discovers that his home has been destroyed and his aunt and uncle killed by Imperial stormtroopers in search of the droids. Luke agrees to go with Obi-Wan to Alderaan, and the two hire smuggler Han Solo and his Wookiee co-pilot Chewbacca to transport them on their ship, the Millennium Falcon.

The Falcon journeys to the Rebel base at Yavin IV where the Death Star plans are analyzed by the Rebels and a potential weakness is found. The weakness will require the use of one-man fighters to slip past the Death Star’s formidable defenses and attack a vulnerable exhaust port. Luke joins the assault team while Han collects his reward for the rescue and leaves, despite Luke’s request for him to stay. The attack proceeds when the Death Star arrives in the system, with Darth Vader having placed a homing device on the Falcon. The Rebel fighters suffer heavy losses and, after several failed attack runs, Luke remains as one of the few surviving pilots. Vader appears with his own group of fighters and begins attacking the Rebel ships. Luke begins his attack run with Vader in pursuit as the Death Star approaches firing range of Yavin IV. As Vader is about to fire at Luke’s ship, Han arrives in the Millennium Falcon and attacks Vader and his wingmen, sending Vader’s ship careening off into space. Guided by Obi-Wan’s voice telling him to use the Force, Luke fires a successful shot which destroys the Death Star seconds before it fires on the Rebel base. Later, at a grand ceremony, Princess Leia awards medals to Luke and Han for their heroism in the battle.

American Graffiti

  • Directors: George Lucas
  • Producers: Francis Ford Coppola, Gary Kurtz
  • Writers: George Lucas, Gloria Katz, Willard Huyck
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance
  • Actors: Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Paul Le Mat, Charles Martin Smith, Candy Clark, Mackenzie Phillips, Cindy Williams, Wolfman Jack

The story is presented in a series of vignettes focused on the four main characters—Curt Henderson (Richard Dreyfuss), Steve Bolander (Ron Howard), John Milner (Paul Le Mat), and Terry “The Toad” Fields (Charles Martin Smith). The four meet in the Mel’s Drive-In parking lot at sunset as a car radio plays a rock and roll station. Steve and Curt are preparing to leave town to attend college in the East, and this is the last night they will spend with their friends. Despite receiving a scholarship from the local Moose Lodge, Curt is reluctant to head off for the unknown, but Steve is eager to get out of Modesto. His girlfriend Laurie (Cindy Williams), Curt’s younger sister, is unsure of his leaving, to which he suggests they see other people while he is away to “strengthen” their relationship.

Steve and Curt are off to the freshman Sock Hop, but John goes off to cruise the streets in his yellow deuce coupe. Steve lets Terry have his 1958 Chevy Impala for the evening and while he will be away at college. While cruising down 10th street, Curt sees a beautiful blonde girl (Suzanne Somers) in a white 1956 Ford Thunderbird. She mouths “I love you” before disappearing down the street. After leaving the hop, Curt is coerced into riding with a gang of greasers who call themselves “The Pharaohs.” He learns that disc jockey Wolfman Jack broadcasts from just outside of town (despite rumors to the contrary), and inside the dark, eerie radio station Curt encounters a bearded man he assumes to be the manager. Curt hands the manager a message for the “Blonde in T-Bird” to call him or meet him. As he walks away, Curt hears the voice of the Wolfman and realizes he had been speaking with him.

The next morning, the sound of a phone ringing in a telephone booth wakes Curt. He answers; it is the mysterious blonde girl. She tells him she might see him cruising tonight, but Curt replies that’s not possible, because he will be leaving town. At the airfield, Curt says goodbye to his parents, his sister, and his friends. While saying goodbye to Laurie, he asks Steve to join him. Steve tells him he is staying in town and enrolling in junior college instead. As the plane takes off, Curt gazes out of the window at the town and the life he is leaving behind. As he watches, he sees the white Ford Thunderbird, which belongs to the mysterious blonde. Curt smiles, and as the movie ends but prior to the closing credits, the fates of the main characters are depicted: John was killed by a drunk driver in December 1964; Steve became an insurance agent in Modesto, California; Terry “The Toad” was reported missing in action in December 1965 near An Loc, Vietnam; Curt was living in Canada as a writer.

Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back

  • Directors: Irvin Kershner
  • Producers: Gary Kurtz, George Lucas, Rick McCallum
  • Writers: Screenplay, Leigh Brackett, Lawrence Kasdan, Story, George Lucas
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Thriller
  • Actors: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels

Despite their victory over the Galactic Empire with the destruction of the Death Star, the Rebel Alliance was driven out of their base and forced to establish a new base on the remote ice planet Hoth. Darth Vader, having become obsessed with finding Luke Skywalker, now a commanding officer within the Rebellion, has multiple probe droids dispatched throughout the galaxy, one of which lands on Hoth. While patrolling near the base, Luke is attacked and knocked unconscious by an indigenous predator. Back at the base, Han Solo announces his intentions to leave the Rebellion to pay off a debt to Jabba the Hutt (much to Princess Leia’s displeasure), but stalls to search for Luke when he doesn’t return. Escaping from the creature’s lair, Luke nearly succumbs to the cold and has a vision of his late mentor, Obi-Wan Kenobi, who instructs him to go to the planet Dagobah to train under Jedi Master Yoda.

Han finds Luke and provides shelter before they are rescued the following morning. Meanwhile, the Imperial probe droid locates the Rebel base on Hoth, and Vader orders an attack while the Rebels prepare to evacuate and disperse. The Imperial forces eventually overpower the Rebels and capture the base. Han and Leia escape on the Millennium Falcon, but are unable to enter hyperspace due to technical difficulties and evade pursuit in an asteroid field, where Han and Leia begin to grow closer to each other. Vader turns to several notorious bounty hunters, including Boba Fett, to assist in locating the Falcon. Meanwhile, Luke escapes from Hoth and crash lands on Dagobah, where he meets a wizened little green creature who reveals himself to be Yoda. While undergoing intensive training, Luke has a premonition of Han and Leia in danger and, against Yoda’s wishes, leaves to save his friends, promising to return to complete his training.

Meanwhile, Luke arrives in Cloud City and falls right into Vader’s trap. He and Vader engage in a lightsaber duel within the carbon-freezing facilities, eventually bringing them to the city’s central air shaft. Gaining an advantage, Vader cuts off Luke’s dueling hand along with his lightsaber. With Luke cornered and defenseless, Vader goads Luke to rule the galaxy alongside him, making the horrifying revelation that he is Luke’s father. Unwilling to join Vader, Luke casts himself into the air shaft and finds himself hanging on an antenna on the underbelly of the city. He makes a desperate call to Leia, who senses Luke’s distress aboard the Millennium Falcon and manages to get him to safety. Its hyperdrive finally functional, the Falcon escapes. Aboard a Rebel medical frigate, Luke is fitted with an artificial hand while Lando sets out on the Falcon to locate Han.